Calculating target Cataract Surgical Rates for Africa

Start: 11/05/2009 - 4:15pm
End  : 11/05/2009 - 5:15pm

Statistics/OR/Math Finance Seminar

Talithia Williams, Harvey Mudd College


Cataract remains the leading cause of blindness in Africa and planning for its treatment is a priority of the World Health Organization’s VISION 2020 initiative. The VISION 2020 strategy is to eliminate avoidable blindness by the year 2020 by setting realistic targets of how many cataract operations need to be done per million people to
eliminate blindness and visual impairment. The cataract surgical rate (CSR), the number of operations done per million population, is a convenient indicator for planning and monitoring. However,estimating what the CSR needs to be requires one to take into account a number of factors and to make some assumptions. The recently
developed Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness (RAAB) survey uses a
population-proportional-to-size sampling technique to select a representative group of people over 50 years old to receive a standard eye exam. We use current data from RAAB surveys in Africa to model the epidemiology of visually significant cataract and to estimate the incidence of cataract causing loss of visual acuity at different age
levels. In this talk, I describe our method of estimating incidence from prevalence and how this information can be used to help set target cataract surgical rates for the VISION 2020 program in Africa, taking into account important differences among populations.

Harvey Mudd College, Seminar Room, 3rd Floor Sprague